I saw this train marked “Grand Canyon” while walking down the street in Williams, Arizona. I checked a map and discovered that I was 60 miles south of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. In 2005 my sister and I visited the North Rim. If you were to drive to the North Rim Campground from the town of Williams you would have to drive 243 miles. If you took a helicopter from Williams to the North Rim Campground the trip would be less than 70 miles. Crossing the the Grand Canyon is inconvenient. To get to the other side of the Grand Canyon by car your only opportunities are where US Highway 89A crosses the Colorado River near Lee’s Ferry in Arizona or 250 miles to the west where US Highway 93 crosses the Colorado River just over the border in Nevada*.
I grew up in North Carolina where you would never have to drive this far to cross a river. Anywhere east of the Mississippi I’d be surprised if you had to drive more than 50 miles out of your way to find a river crossing. Driving 250 miles in the Eastern U.S. will take you through countless towns and over many bridges large and small, but out West you can drive for hundreds of miles and see little more than saguaro and prickly pear.
*Where the mighty Hoover Dam is located.